Marion Police Chief heading to White House

Marion Police Chief Bill Collins was recently invited by the Office Of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the Bureau of White House Affairs to participate in a White House 21st Century Policing Briefing to be held in the White House East Wing on July 22, 2016.

“It is an honor anytime a citizen is invited to the White House; that is why I am extremely proud of the invitation that has been extended to Marion’s Police Chief”, said Marion Mayor Scott Schertzer.

In that formal invitation to Chief Collins, The White House describes the focus of this important and timely discussion through a quote made by President Barack Obama at the May 2016 Medal of Valor Ceremony.

Speaking at that event, President Obama stated, “[O]ur Nation has a responsibility to support those who serve and protect us and keep our streets safe. We can show our respect by listening to you, learning from you, giving you the resources that you need to do the jobs. That’s the mission of our police task force, which brought together local law enforcement, civil rights and faith leaders, and community members to open dialogue and build trust and find concrete solutions that make your jobs safer. Our country needs that right now.”

Since becoming Marion’s 14th Chief of Police in 2014, Chief Collins began implementing numerous public engagement initiatives, many of which run parallel with the President’s report that was issued in 2015 following highly publicized police incidents throughout the country.

Chief Collins participated in a prior roundtable discussion on the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing while attending an International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP) Meeting in Chicago in the fall of 2015.

In May of this year, Chief Collins created the MPACT Bureau (Marion Police And Community Together), adding Lt. B.J. Gruber as a full time coordinator in order to build police/community relations while also seeking to increase transparency and trust through non-enforcement and positive police interactions.

Several incredibly popular programs have emerged since the inception of MPACT. “Chillin’ Pops with Cops” is a program where Officers take freeze pops out into the community and use the treat as a reason to connect with our youth. The department has ramped up its social media presence with fun, positive, and informative posts highlighting the good and positive works of people in the community. MPD has reached out and worked in unison with the faith community to bring needed school supplies and other resources to underserved populations throughout Marion. MPD has engaged diverse populations within Marion and sought to connect with the people that they serve.

“In spite of these things, it is really the face to face interactions with our people that make this program what it is”, said Lt. B.J. Gruber, Coordinator of the MPACT Program. “The fact that Chief Collins places such importance in this mission is invaluable to its success, as this is truly a top down implementation that sets the tone for the culture of our police department.”

With the numerous positive programs being implemented through MPD’s MPACT Program, the Chief will have many opportunities to share the successes of the Marion Police Department through its several public outreach programs. However, attendees will also be joined by Senior Administrative Officials who will participate in brainstorming sessions designed to “enhance public trust and confidence in the justice system while maintaining public safety.”

“It is an honor be invited to the table to discuss our success story with other attendees and I am also certain that we will benefit from others sharing their experiences as well”, said Marion Police Chief Bill Collins. “I am proud of the steps that we have taken as a department and as a city and it is my belief that we are truly on the forefront of the 21st Century Policing ideology.”

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